My Brilliant Friend on TV

Poster for My Brilliant Friend on HBO
HBO poster for Series 2

I know I’ve mentioned this before and I know I’m at least 5 years behind everyone else in this but I am loving this on TV. We even missed series 1 of this two years ago, but have spent the last week catching up. We are not usually box set or binge watchers but we’ve even watched two episodes in one evening. Bearing in mind we rarely see more than 2 hours television a night, this is some going. The casting is perfect, the set is just as I imagined with the exception of the streets being much wider than I anticipated. I just love the clothes. I had to restrain myself from pausing one particular scene when Elena is wearing a fabulous pale lemon coat. 

I love the fact that it is in Italian with sub-titles as it wouldn’t have felt right in English. One question that bothered me at first was their language in the neighbourhood. The books make it very clear when a character is speaking in Italian or Neapolitan dialect. It is indicative of their social and educational position. They had the actors use a form of Neapolitan dialect that was sub-titled in Italian for home grown audiences. Of course we miss out on these nuances when we simply receive the text in English. There is a very good explanation and discussion on the importance of the dialect in the series.  An important milestone for the families in the block is the New Year’s Eve party that Stefano hosts for a large number of families in the neighbourhood. Just before midnight he makes a speech in Italian that highlights his meagre education. We, of course, completely missed this with English text.

Having said that though, the series is so well done. We have discussed a holiday in the region, especially the island of Ischia and discovered by chance that my Danish sister-in-law had organised Elena Ferrante holidays in Italy. I really am behind the curve on this. I loved the wedding scene done with a hand held cine camera and I loved the clothes.  Did I mention the clothes?  

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